Man cited for 'eating while driving' in Georgia

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An Alabama man says he was cited by police in Cobb County, Georgia, for "eating while driving" under the distracted driving law.

Madison Turner said he ordered a Double Quarter Pounder with cheese from McDonald’s last week, and a police officer pulled him over in Marietta, an Atlanta suburb.

“The officer explained to me that he observed me eating a burger for two miles,” Turner said. “He said specifically three times, 'You can’t just go down the road eating a hamburger.'"

According to the ticket, the officer wrote him up under Georgia’s distracted driving law and under the comments section wrote, “eating while driving.”

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That law reads, in part: “A driver shall exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state and shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of such vehicle.”

“Maybe I was enjoying the burger too much; I needed to tone it down. I was certainly willing to do so, but I didn’t expect to be fined or punished,” Turner said.

“If this was the law, I’d have to hire more attorneys because everybody does it including me,” said William Head, a longtime traffic and DUI attorney, who is not representing Turner.

“I’ve only seen something like this charge when there’s an accident. There was no accident here, so the fact that this man was charged with eating and driving is a first for me,” Head said. Head added that the law was very vague.

“Maybe if you had a giant pizza in both hands and you weren’t holding the wheel, or maybe if you had a watermelon – half watermelon – and you were just diving into it holding it with both hands, maybe that would be something,” Head said.

A representative for Cobb County police said they could not comment, since the case is ongoing. Turner's court date is Feb. 3.